Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's A New Class Every Semester

Those who have been fighting CPSIA for a while now are starting to get burned out by the sheer number of people who have never heard of CPSIA. We answer the same questions over and over and over again: "What does CPSIA mean?" "But the law is for toys, right?" "Why did they pass this law in the first place?" "How come you're not exempt?" "What the freak was Congress smoking, and where can I buy some?"

When I was teaching, I thought it would be easier to teach two sections of the same course. I'd prepare one syllabus, one homework schedule, one set of lecture notes, one test (with different versions). I soon found, however, that when I got to the second class, I was getting too frustrated with the students because gosh, I'd already lectured on this stuff, didn't they know it already? Of course it was a different set of students, so of course they hadn't heard my first lecture of the day. But I had, and it took a lot of reminding myself that this was a completely different class of students and I'd just have to bring out the same points and examples a second time and explain them as if they were new.

We have a website now that will help, What Is The CPSIA? It answers some of the basic questions and you can refer your friends to it or refresh your memory there. It is a work in progress so if you don't see your question, feel free to email it in or tweet it in to me @curiouswork.

It can get very frustrating to keep going over the basics with people who are just now hearing about CPSIA, but we have to do it. The more people we can educate, the greater will be the pushback when the law is fully enforced. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that it's a new class every semester, and they haven't heard our lectures yet.